Blog to Book Project — Twitter for Authors

Twitter is another great place to advertise. When you sign up for Twitter you get to choose your user name. You can choose your own name, a pen name or something really cool.  If the name you want to use is taken, which happens a lot, come up with something else. 

Fill out the profile information completely. Make sure to include a link to your author website. Add your profile picture. I use my page icon instead of my author picture, but that’s just me. If you are having difficulty deciding what to include on your profile, look at other authors in your genre and see what they have done. 

Take some time every week or so to find other writers, book reviewers, and interesting people to follow. Try to find people that are prominent in your particulate niche. 

Tweet a variety of images, posts, links, book reviews, author interviews, news articles along with a few self-promotional bits. When your stuff gets retweets or comments, publically thank them. It’s good form. 

Use hashtags generously.  #bookreview #author #freebookpromo #freekindle 

The lists option is a nice way to organize the people you follow. They get a notification that you put them on a list and are often flattered enough to follow you back. 

Twitter is a rapid-fire social media site. Tweet copiously!

Assignment: Set up your Twitter account and begin tweeting!

Blog to Book Project — Proof Copies

Proof copies are great to send Beta readers, proofreaders, copy editors or to do a final check yourself. A proof copy is what your book would look like before it gets the final quality review at Amazon. 

You can only order proof copies when your book is in the draft category. You will get the opportunity to order proofs when you reach the Paperback Rights & Pricing tab in the uploading process. Click on the link in the box above the yellow Publish Your Paperback Book button that says “Request Printed Proofs of this book that you can order from the Amazon cart.” 

Clicking on that link will take you to a page where you can place your order. You can order up to five copies at a time. You can ship to multiple addresses by placing separate orders.

After you order your proof, you can publish your book immediately or wait until you’ve had a chance to look over your book. Remember, if you do find errors, you can upload a new manuscript with corrections. 

You will receive an email from Amazon KDP with a link to complete the order for your proofs. You must complete the transaction within 24 hours of receiving the email, otherwise you’ll have to make the request again. 

Proofs are a little different from regular copies of the book. Across the cover there is a “Not for Resale” watermark and no ISBN although there is a bar code. Other than that, the text and image formatting is the same, so if there is something that you want to change after seeing your book in print, do it.

Assignment: Order your proof copy.

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal 2020

This year for the A to Z Challenge, Content Creative will continue to share information about how to set up and self-publish your book on Amazon. The process doesn’t have to be shrouded in confusion, as many book publishing companies make it seem. However, you, as the author and publisher, are responsible for creating the best literary work possible and it can be tricky.

Images, book covers, formatting, editing, book order, uploading to Amazon, and marketing are key components to creating an incredible book that you can be proud of. Look for these topics and more in the month of April as part of the 2020 A to Z Challenge.

Blog to Book Project — Author Copies

Author copies are copies of a book that are given to the author at the time of publication by the publisher. If you aren’t going the traditional route, you can still get author copies of your blog to book project and you should!

With Amazon Kindle Direct, for example, you can order up to 999 copies of your book for only the cost of printing, which depending on your final book price, can be a substantial saving.

Author copies make great marketing tools. You can donate them to your local library. You can sign them and make them prizes in raffles or giveaways. You can send them to family and friends. You can give them to all those people you thanked in your acknowledgment section. Send them to people who want to review your book. You can sell them yourself, but you won’t get royalty payments on them.

Plus, a shelf of your own blog to book projects in print form makes a heart glad!

To order Author copies, go to your KDP Bookshelf and choose the book you want to get copies of. Next, enter the number of copies you would like and pick the marketplace through which you’d like to order the books. To save on shipping costs, choose the Amazon branch closest to your shipping address. 

Assignment: Order some Author copies.

Blog to Book Project — Sample Chapters

The first 10% of your ebook can be downloaded by readers through the Send a free sample option available on your book’s detail page on Amazon. 

This option means you should think about what content you should include in your front matter to capitalize on this preview opportunity. 

Do you want to waste all the valuable space on acknowledgments or can you move the acknowledgements to the back matter?

Will the list of tables and graphs really grab the reader’s attention? 

Would including testimonials bolster your book and/or qualifications for writing it? 

Does your introduction do a bang-up job of convincing the reader to buy the book?

Have you checked and double-checked for errors?

Assignment: Decide how to format the front matter to capitalize on the Send a free sample option.

Blog to Book Project — Linking Your Books

Example of linked books. Both the Kindle and Paperback options appear.

Once you have your paperback manuscript uploaded to Amazon, you want to make sure that the ebook and paperback link up so that readers will have both options when they go to purchase your book. 

Most of the time, Amazon will do the link-up automatically. I’ve run into an issue though when the books don’t link up because I changed the formatting slightly to accommodate print vs. ebook-reader experience. 

There isn’t a way to get around the exact match to link the books on the detail pages. You can, however, link the slightly different books on your KDP Bookshelf which helps you keep track of your publications. 

To do the KDP Bookshelf link-up, go to your Bookshelf on KDP and find the book you want to link. Choose the option Link Existing (paperback or eBook). Search for the book you want to link in the pop-up box. Link books. 

You can also unlink books on the KDP Bookshelf. Choose the Unlink books option from the ellipsis button next to the book you want to unlink.

You’ll get a warning message asking if you are sure. Choose yes, you can always link them up again if you so desire.

Now the books will be listed separately on your KDP Bookshelf.

Assignment: Link your books.

Blog to Book Project — Look Inside the Book

Look Inside is a tool you can use to your advantage on Amazon. It allows readers to actually look inside (hence the name) your book. It’s actually a piece of cake to get it set up because Amazon does it for you! 

When you publish through KDP, your book is automatically enrolled in the program. Within a week of your book being available on Amazon, you will be able to see the Look Inside arrow on your book’s landing page on Amazon.

Readers can see a preview of both your ebook and print book. It’s a limited number of pages, so don’t worry about giving too much away. The ebook preview shows the cover and several of the first pages, not usually more than 10 or so. At the end of the preview, there is a prompt to encourage previewers to purchase the book. 

On the left, there’s an option to order a sample of the book for free delivered to your Kindle. Again, it’s not a huge amount of material, but it might be enough to prompt someone to buy. 

The print preview shows the front and back covers, copyright, table of contents, first few pages and a “Surprise Me!” option which takes previewers to a random section of the book.

There is also a search option. You can’t actually go to those pages in the preview, but it does list the sentence and page number of each occurrence of the words you searched for. It also helps readers find your book in any search on Amazon. So if a reader wants to find a book about “La Yacata” and searches for those keywords, my books have a higher probability of appearing before his or her wondering eyes even if “La Yacata” is not in the title.

As an author, you can capitalize on this feature by making sure you have no grammatical or orthographical errors in the preview. Nothing turns a reader off faster than mistakes. You could also be creative with your front matter placement to draw the reader in.

Assignment: Check out some books via the Look Inside option on Amazon. How can you capitalize on this feature as an author?

Blog to Book Project — Genealogy or List of Characters

Although most often found in fiction books, you may also want to include a List of Characters in your blog to book project if it would be hard for the reader to keep track of the people and relationships in your story without a guide. You can organize the list by order of appearance or family groups or overlapping relationships, whichever would be most useful for the reader.

You can eliminate some of the confusion in your book by using the same nicknames or given names throughout the story. Don’t call the neighbor Fred in one chapter and Mr. Miller in the next. Be consistent. 

It might be useful to include a genealogy in some situations especially if there is something unique about the family tree that pertains to the story. For instance, the main characters might be cousins twice removed that had met at a family reunion as children and reconnected as adults. Instead of going through the intricacies in the text, a mere mention with reference to the genealogy at the beginning of the book might suffice. 

There are many free templates available online to help you create an attractive genealogy to include in your book. 

Assignment: Create a List of Characters or Geneology for your book. Review your book to make sure you are consistent in name-use.

Blog to Book Project — Foreword

A foreword is usually written by someone other than the author. It might describe the interaction between the writer of the foreword and the author of the book. Or it could talk about the information and relevance of the book on a social, historical or cultural level. A foreword is often fewer than two pages. 

Generally, the foreword is not written by just anyone, but someone that is considered an expert in his or her field. Therefore the foreword serves as something of an endorsement of the author or book to follow. 

If the book is a compilation, the editor may write the foreword. 

If a book has had several editions published, sometimes a new foreword is included before a previous foreword. The newer foreword could talk about how the updated edition differs from the first or why the book has become culturally relevant again if it is a public domain edition. 

This is the only section of the book that is signed by the author of the foreword. Any titles or affiliations associated with the author of the foreword is also listed.

As a general rule, this section is not numbered as part of the book. If it is paginated, it uses lowercase Roman numerals.

In some instances, an author may write the foreword. When this is the case, the section may discuss how the idea of the book was developed and could even include acknowledgments. 

Assignment: Do you know someone that would lend credibility to your book by writing the foreword? Have you made a formal request?